Tag: #witches

“A History of Magic and Witchcraft” by Frances Timbers

“A History of Magic and Witchcraft” by Frances Timbers

Blurb:

Broomsticks and cauldrons, familiars and spells: magic and witchcraft conjure vivid pictures in our modern imaginations. The History of Magic and Witchcraft offers a window into the past, illuminating the lives of ordinary people and shining a light on the fascinating pop culture of the pre-modern world.

Blowing away folkloric cobwebs, this enlightening new history dispels many of the misconceptions rooted in superstition and myth that surround witchcraft and magic today. Historian Frances Timbers brings together elements of Ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, Christianity, popular culture, and gender beliefs that evolved throughout the middle ages and early modern period and contributed to the construction and eventual persecution of the figure of the witch. While demonologists were developing the new concept of Devil worship and the witches’ sabbat, elite men were actually attempting to practice ceremonial magic. In the twentieth century, elements of ceremonial magic and practices of cunning folk were combined with the culturally constructed idea of a sect of witches to give birth first to modern Wicca in England and then to other neopagan movements in North America.

Witchcraft is a metaphor for oppression in an age in which persecution is an everyday occurrence somewhere in the world. Fanaticism, intolerance, prejudice, authoritarianism, and religious and political ideologies are never attractive. Beware the witch hunter!

My Thoughts:
What a perfect time of year for a history of witches and witchcraft. I found this book very intriguing. This book presents a different view of witches and the misconceptions about them. The author starts by going back to the ancient Greek mythology where the idea of a witch first appeared. As the book proceeds, she confronts various specific false beliefs and their origins, such as, wild rides in the night, and sexual liaisons with the devil. The material is well researched and presented in a way that makes it approachable for most any reader. If you’ve been with me a while, you know I love these deep dives into the corners of history and this book was no exception. Fascinating, informative and thought provoking all in one place.
Alinefromabook’s rating:
Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star
Happy Reading!